Tom Vandenbosch

In response to What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Cost is $1 per child per week.
You want to scale the solution all 20 million Ugandan children under 14.
That means the cost will be $20 million per week, or more than $1 billion per year!
Where will you get that amount of funding, or how will you bring down cost?

Erin Fitzgerald

Hi Tom,

Thanks so much for your question! This is something we have thought long and hard about, since it will be the key to making our solution ultimately scalable.

Here are the strategies we are pursuing for managing costs:

(1) This model benefits from economies of scale. As the number of users increases, the cost per user decreases. With 20 million users, the cost per user decreases to $0.51 per week.

(2) We are working hard this year to finalize a partnership with a major telecom in Uganda, which would give us discounted services in exchange for greater market penetration. With our current number of 27,000 users, the discount we are pushing for would drop the price from $1 per child per week to $0.73 per child per week. With 20,000,000 users and the telecom discount, the cost per user would decrease to $0.27 per week.

(3) Next year we plan to license our platform so that other organizations can distribute educational content for other subjects via Yiya AirScience. The revenue from subscription fees that other orgs pay to be on our platform will cover the telecom costs per user, which will make the cost decrease to $0.50 per user per week at our current number of 27,000 users. At 20,000,000 users with the revenue from hosting other orgs on the platform, the cost per user would drop to $0.0006 per week.

(4) Our long-term goal is to partner with the Ugandan Ministry of Education so that we become their partner who distributes the national curriculum to all children, either as a ministry-accredited home-based virtual classroom for children who can't afford to go to school or a supplement for school-going children. With this partnership, the government would pay for our model. According to the World Bank, Uganda spent $43.95 per primary-aged child per year in 2014 (the most recent year data is reported). With our Yiya AirScience model and with no discounts or revenue calculated, at 20,000,000 users, our model would cost the government $26.52 per student for the whole year, which means a 40% decrease in what they would normally pay. Our model is much less expensive than what the government is already paying per primary student!

Thanks again for this super important question! I hope I've addressed it fully. If you want more details on how all the finances work out, please send me an email at erin@yiyasolutions.org. Happy weekend! :)

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